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What Are Protein Powders?

Protein powders can be useful if you aren’t getting enough protein from whole foods in your diet, if you are vegetarian or vegan. Protein powders are also useful if you want the convenience and portability of a protein source that won’t spoil easily.
Protein is essential for your body. It is needed for growth, reproduction and healing as well as supporting and maintaining a healthy immune system. Protein also helps to maintain satiety after a meal.
There are many questions circulating around protein powders.  How are they made? What’s the difference between types? To find out, read on.

What are protein powders?

Protein powders are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of protein.
This protein is derived from a variety of different food sources, including:
  • Rice
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Pea
  • Hemp
  • Soy
  • Cranberry
  • Artichoke
Along with protein, many powders are fortified with vitamins, minerals, greens (dehydrated vegetable or other plant products), additional fats, grains, fibre, and/or thickeners. Some protein powders are often considered meal replacement powders (MRPs) instead of straight protein.
Most protein powders are a highly processed food supplement. They must be refined so they don’t taste like garbage and have a long, stable shelf life.

Processing methods

Although protein powders come directly from whole food sources, they’re not whole foods themselves. They’re created by extracting the protein component of the food, through a variety of

Processing methods.

Different protein sources require different processing techniques. For example, extracting rice protein from starch-dense rice takes a great amount of processing.

To use or not to use?

For the average person, it's fine to increase your protein intake moderately if you're looking for weight loss, but it’s very important that you don’t overdo it as it is quite easy to get enough protein through diet alone, even vegans or vegetarians. Instead of paying top dollar for protein powders, you could look to good old fashioned food like dairy, eggs, fish, meat or nuts and seeds.

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